Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Coopers Hawk Australian Shiraz NV

Coopers Hawk Australian Shiraz NV

With sister Jan and her daughter Jenna back from OC Cal to visit mom and me, we met for a mini-family reunion for lunch at Cooper's Hawk Restaurant and Wine Bar in Burr Ridge.

Cooper's Hawk has grown exorbitantly from their modest location in Countryside to now eight locations in Illinois, seven in Florida, a pair in Indiana, and more in Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Their approach is an up-beat quality dining experience serving a broad selection of foods paired with a broad selection of wines. Their wines are all private labeled, sourced from grape growers around the globe, then vinted and bottled under their own branding, usually NV or non-vintage designated wines.

Cooper's Hawk wines generally are moderately priced and reasonable QPR - quality price ratio, appealing to the general marketplace, casual or non-sophisticated wine consumer. The selection is broad and offers all the styles of wine from sweet to dry, red, white, rose, sparkling and dessert wines. They market and promote a wine club and offer special bottlings for club members who also are rewarded for frequent dining. They appeal to a wide audience and are enjoying immense popularity to budget conscious frequent diners.

Our kid's Erin and Johnnie are members and frequent diners as their location in the trendy Burr Ridge Town Centre is near their home. We enjoy family dinners there due to their decent value and broad selection that offers something for everyone.

Today we tasted and then ordered a bottle of their feature selection of the month, this Australian Shiraz, branded as part of their 'International Collection'. This wine of the month selection purports on the label that the fruit was "sourced from the top vineyards in Australia and crafted exclusively for our (sic) Wine Club members."

Readers of these pages know we drink a lot of wines including a lot of Australian Shiraz. I sampled this the glass and supported ordering a bottle to accompany our meal. The painted label and citation on the rear of the bottle states, "Our Australian Shiraz is deep black purple in color and offers a mind boggling bouquet of violets, licorice, blackberries and blueberries. The wine is rich, opulent and full bodied with spice, dark fruit flavors and notes of chocolate and pipe tobacco." While I agree with their assessment of the taste profile for this wine, I might dial down the hyperbole of their qualitative assessment of the tasting experience.  They cite, "The beautifully balanced palate shows layers of sweet concentrated fruit and texture with fine-grained tannins for a long and elegant finish."

I'll let their review stand and give the wine 90 points, high praise indeed, a high QPR at their published price point of $20 per bottle.

While this is one of the better selections we have had from Cooper's Hawk, since this is a NV, non-vintage, private label bottling, there is no assurance this wine will be reproduced again to this same style or standard. Hence, each encounter there is somewhat hit or miss. Their typical consumer and diner may not be sufficiently discriminating to detect the variation over time, or care. But that's part of the adventure of the Cooper's Hawk dining and wine experience!